With his new movie Speak to Me, Dix Hills artist Kurt Damas hopes to shed light on men’s mental health

The grief that adopted the demise of his shut buddy Kurt Damas final 12 months modified his view of psychological well being.

The loss he skilled was a catalyst for Damas, who had additionally misplaced his uncle, to jot down and direct a movie that he hoped would assist begin a dialog about it. Psychological well beingParticularly amongst males. “Converse to Me,” which premieres at Sayville Cinemas on February 16, is about two younger adults who should discover ways to overcome grief whereas additionally coping with the stigma of openness.

“You develop up considering, ‘Properly, I’ve to be powerful as a result of I am a person.'” And actually, you should not be powerful or sit in ache or no matter, you need to categorical these emotions,” stated Damas, 34, of Dix Hills.

Kurt Damas pictured with his best friend Barry Ingram ...

Kurt Damas, pictured, together with his shut buddy Barry Ingram, whose demise impressed Damas to jot down and direct Discuss to Me.
Credit score: Randy Dadona

Co-director, producer and co-writer Trevor Jackson, 32 – who additionally knew Damas’ buddy Barry Ingram, who died unexpectedly on the age of 30 – stated the script highlights “the worth of utilizing your circle, your soul, your neighborhood to seek out somebody to speak to when undergo issues.”

‘speak to me’

The movie shall be proven at 6:00 pm on Thursday, February 16, at Cyville Cinemas. Tickets could be bought on-line at speaktomethefilm.com.


You probably have ideas of suicide, name certainly one of these numbers instantly for assist:

Household Service League – Hotline 24/7: 631-952-3333

Lengthy Island Disaster Middle in Belmore – 24/7 Disaster Hotline: 516-679-1111

Disaster textual content line: Textual content HOME to 741741

Household Service Affiliation and Mission Joe Disaster Motion Crew – 1-888-FSL-CCAT (1-888-375-2228)

Jackson highlighted his analysis on psychological well being, significantly inside the African-American neighborhood, whereas writing the movie. He stated that many individuals battle in silence.

“Loads of instances within the African American neighborhood, issues are stored, as a result of there is a taboo round psychological well being or being good, particularly for black males,” stated Jackson, of the Bay Shore. “We maintain it, we do not speak to anybody about it. And that is what the film is about. Discuss to me, speak to somebody, about what you are going by way of.”

Males extra likeable to die by suicide in america, though ladies usually tend to search psychological well being care, with a couple of in 4 ladies, or 28.6%, receiving psychological well being therapy in 2021 in comparison with 17.8% of males, based on Newest statistics Accessible on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

Nonetheless, Karen Borstein, president and CEO of the Household Providers Affiliation, stated the stigma surrounding males in search of psychological well being care could have eased in recent times. She stated each women and men search psychological well being companies from the Lengthy Island nonprofit at an equal fee.

“Typically, I believe increasingly more speak is being made about psychological well being,” she stated, emphasizing the supply of assets. “The message is, get assist. Ask questions of associates or family if you happen to see they’re feeling actually down to verify they do not harm themselves.”

Melvina Ward, proprietor of Endeavor Options, Inc. In St. James, as a funeral director within the film and offered the funeral house as a set. I reached out to share after seeing a publish in regards to the movie on social media.

“I believe it’s totally, essential that individuals perceive that individuals deal with issues in a different way…and that there must be an open dialogue about this,” stated Ward, 47.

Damas stated he’s “fortunate” to have a robust help system of family and friends he can rely on.

I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist. However I believe if we speak extra to one another, if we’re each weak and open about what’s actually occurring, we are able to cease folks from taking place this path of suicide,” he stated.

You probably have ideas of suicide, name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the opposite companies listed beneath.

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